Daily Brief - Wednesday 24th May, 2017

NEWS

4 Nabbed After Murder

Quick work by police led to the arrest of four men, one of whom is 17, minutes after a couple was chopped inside a shack near Tyrico Bay on Monday night. The chopped woman died shortly after being brought to hospital while her husband remains warded in stable but serious condition. Officers on patrol intercepted a car which was speeding along the North Coast Road with no headlights on. They held two men and spotted fresh bloodstains inside the vehicle. The victims have been identified as Kimberly Lewis, 24, and Jonathan Garcia, 22, who collectively were chopped over 30 times. Police are working on a theory that Garcia was the intended target as he and a group of men had an altercation shortly before the incident. Police said that at 10 pm, the men armed with cutlasses, forced their way into Lewis’ wooden house and chopped the couple. Read more here

Arson attack, threats for outstanding money

A civil engineer attached to the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) and his family are now living in fear, after his car was fire-bombed and his life threatened last week. The threats are believed to be work-related. Kevon Trestrail was at home with his family at Pleasant Prospect around 8.45 pm, when two men were seen breaking the window and pouring liquid all over his 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara, valued at $77,000, which was parked in the driveway. The vehicle was then set on fire. Read more here

Property owners can file voluntarily

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday there was no injunction in place restraining property owners from submitting the valuation return forms (VRF) and other documents “on a voluntary basis”. He said the Ministry of Finance had sought legal advice before issu­ing a release advising pro­perty owners they were free to submit VRF and any supporting documents to any office of the Valuations Division on a voluntary basis. The release, issued at 5.08 a.m. today, stated: “The Ministry of Finance wishes to advise property owners that they are free to submit valuation return forms and any supporting documents they consider relevant to any office of the Valuations Division on a voluntary basis.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

Lee hits Govt’s ‘nothing committees’

Asking what Government has been doing for the past 20 months, UNC chairman David Lee hit them for setting up what he dubbed, “another Nothing Committee” to promote economic diversification and foreign direct investment. “It is quite disturbing that after 20 months in office, within an economic climate that has seen vulnerable energy markets coupled with consistent contractions of the economy the Minister of Trade (Paula Gopee- Scoon) has now seen the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Diversification. The questions must be asked, what has the Minister of Trade been doing in the past 20 months,” Lee said in a press release. Read more here

AG: Final child marriage debate before June

The final debate on abolition of child marriages is expected to be heard before June, says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. He gave an update on the matter recently when he spoke to students of St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando. He urged them to speak out on the issues they would want discussed during the debate. Government is seeking to amend legislation to raise the new legal age of marriage to 18. Four months ago, there was a vote in the Senate to end child marriage, but Opposition members and one Independent senator abstained. Read more here

Smith’s Tobago Splurge

All work and no play. Sport Minister Darryl Smith says he was not joyriding in Tobago and a $92,000 bill for a weekend visit last weekend was all work. Smith said he and his team of 12 persons not only attended the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Sports Awards but they also did a number of things — such as tour the Dwight York Stadium, meet the youth council and the THA Assemblyman for Sport. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Pilots warn LIAT, ‘turbulance ahead’

The Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) is urging LIAT to honour its salary agreement with the union, said LIALPA is a recent statement. LIALPA said its relationship with LIAT (1974) Ltd is strained and at an all-time low.“Since late 2012, the Association has engaged LIAT in negotiations for a new salary structure for its ATR- 72 aircraft (not covered under the current MOA) and general salary increases. “After years of stalling and legal maneuvering by LIAT, including the Company filing legal action in both the High and Industrial Courts, the Association in the spirit of fostering and maintaining a good relationship with LIAT accepted the Company’s salary package offer in January 2017. Read more here

T&T registers first ‘green’ building

T&T has registered its first ever “green” building in the form of a flagship commercial development owned by RGM Limited. Aptly named for its location, Savannah East was designed and built in an environmentally responsible manner and will operate much in the same way as it promotes recycling and encourages sustainable energy through the use of rainwater to flush fixtures, condensate water from the air-conditioning system to irrigate the green spaces in the building, insulated windows and roofing to reduce heat transfer and the creation of energy every time the elevator is used. The building, which was Constructed at a cost of $145 million, received its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification in March. A plaque stating this fact has been affixed to the front wall of the building which is situated on the eastern side of the Queen’s Park Savannah and provides a picturesque view for the occupants. Read more here

Gopee-Scoon: Kamla blocked my Malta trip

Government Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon yesterday disclosed that she had packed her luggage, showered and was ready to go to a parliamentary conference in Malta but was snubbed by then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Persad-Bissessar directed that she not go even through she was the Parliament’s recommended representative for the trip, Gopee-Scoon said. Gopee-Scoon, the current Trade Minister, shared her story during her contribution to a private motion moved by Opposition Senator Wade Mark to establish a Joint Select Committee to consider and report within three months on a legislative formula for parliamentary autonomy in Trinidad and Tobago. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

St Kitts-Nevis opposition walks out after MP ejected from parliament

After a back and forth verbal exchange between Speaker of the National Assembly Michael Perkins and Labour parliamentarian Konris Maynard on Tuesday, the MP was ejected from the St Kitts and Nevis parliament, prompting a walkout by all opposition members. According to Maynard, “democracy is still under threat”, claiming he was ordered to leave parliament for “standing and awaiting the Speaker’s indulgence to ask a question”. Maynard’s ejection came just after 1pm, on the heels of a sparring bout between the Speaker and opposition leader, former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas over comments Douglas made about a certain Chinese economic citizen of the federation. Read more here

Major Leap - Improved Public-Private Partnership Rating Shows Jamaica On Right Economic Path

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says that Jamaica's meteoric rise to fourth in the latest public-private partnership (PPP) programme index for Latin America and the Caribbean is proof enough that the country's economic fortunes are trending in the right direction. Jamaica now has a 71 per cent rating behind joint leaders Chile and Colombia at 74 per cent. Brazil is rated third at 72 per cent, with Peru rounding out the top five with a 69 percentage rating. "I am very happy to know that we are trending in the right direction and I do believe that if we can continue to assert ourselves in terms of facilitating PPPs of all kinds, it will give us that push to make the five in three (originally five in four) become a reality," Vaz said. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Landslide buries California's scenic highway near Big Sur

Dirt and stones are blocking the sweeping views of a coastal scenic highway in California. A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway, considered by some as one of the most scenic drives in the US, was buried by a massive landslide, the California Department of Transportation said. On Saturday, more than a million tons of rock and dirt fell down the slope and into the ocean about 8 miles north of San Luis Obispo. Read more here

Manchester attack: Bomber not acting alone, says Amber Rudd

The man who carried out a suicide attack in Manchester was "likely" to have not acted alone, Home Secretary Amber Rudd says. Salman Abedi killed 22 and injured 64 when he blew himself up at the Manchester Arena on Monday night. Police arrested three men in Manchester on Wednesday. Abedi's 23-year-old brother was arrested on Tuesday. The UK terror threat level is now up to its highest level of "critical", meaning more attacks may be imminent. It means military personnel are being deployed to protect key sites. The Palace of Westminster has been closed to the public following police advice, and will not re-open until further notice, a statement on its website said. Read more here

24th May 2017

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